There is plenty of wilderness in Scotland as the region is home to vast areas of highlands. This offers probably the most spectacular scenery in the British Isles, but it can also show off some of the country’s wildest weather.

The Robert Burns Museum in South Ayrshire

Scotland is home to two National Parks, the Cairngorms National Park with the Loch Lomond, and the Trussocks National Park. The parks are slightly unusual in that they have large areas of land that are still privately owned. This dates back to when the country was dominated by the feudal system, with large areas being owned by the privileged few.

However, the parks have combined with the National Trust for Scotland to conserve large areas of the countryside. Although the land appears to be pure wilderness, in reality it is worked soil so there has to be a healthy balance between those cultivating it and those who visit.

The National Trust actually owns around 730 square kilometers which includes 130 properties. The land belonging to it is a home to castles, gardens, historic sites and remote rural areas. The land that is owned varies from normal inland settings to coastline and island locations.

The role of the National trust is vital as it owns many properties outside of the National Parks. Its most visited site is the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in South Ayrshire which attracts 250,000 visitors each year. Without the support of the National Trust, the museum would never have been created.

The largest National Park in Scotland is the Cairngorms National Park which cover just over 4500 square kilometers and was created in 2003. The park is also the biggest in the whole of United Kingdom and is a home to three of the five ski resorts in the country.

Although much of the land is still farmed, tourists are welcomed in the park, and Aviemore is the most popular area.  It is home to the Cairngorm ski centre which has opened the funicular railway that takes skiers to the top of the mountain. This replaced the original lifts as they were difficult to use as a result of the windy conditions that are often experienced in this part of Scotland.

The funicular train making its way up the Cairngorms

Although skiing is popular, the region gets more visitors in the summer months as walking is popular in the area. There is much accommodation available in the area and the park authorities work hard to make the region as accessible as possible to visitors.

The first park to be opened in Scotland was The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in 2002. The area is dominated by lochs with accompanying trossochs which are wooded, gently undulating regions.

They provide spectacular scenery as the huge U shaped valleys that have been in-filled by water to produce deep lakes. During the last glaciated period these valleys were full of glaciers and larger blocks of ice made their way down to the sea.

This has left behind a picture coastline with wide inlets extending inland. It is one of the most remote parts of Scotland and is home to the country’s rarest flora and fauna. The Scots have manage to manage large areas of its remotest areas by use a combination of different authorities. Although this has not been an easy operation, it appears to be working.